Japanese Man Self-Immolates Over Abe's Increasingly Militarist Shift

Tyler Durden's picture

Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defense; but, as The BBC reports, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants a new interpretation of the constitution to be agreed on. This has brought major protests in Japan, climaxing this weekend when a man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas. With stocks falling, JPY strengthening, an economy collapsing, and a surging disapproval rating, it seems Abe needs a 4th arrow - war?


As The BBC reports,

Japan has well-equipped and well-trained armed forces but there are severe restrictions on them being deployed abroad.


Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defence.


But Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants a new interpretation of the constitution to be agreed on.


The move has split opinion inside the country. Critics of the move warn against what they see as increasing militarism, while conservatives argue that the restriction is a double standard forced upon Japan.

And that led to this weeken'ds self-immolation...

A man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas.


The man was taken to hospital after being hosed down but his condition was not immediately known, officials said.


Japan's government could make the change to its pacifist constitution as early as next Tuesday.


The US-drafted constitution bans war and "the threat or use of force" to settle international disputes.


Witnesses said the middle-aged man, wearing a suit and tie, climbed onto a pedestrian bridge at Tokyo's Shinjuku station.


"He was sitting cross-legged and was just talking, so I thought it would end without incident," one eyewitness told Reuters. "Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire."



Reports said the man used a megaphone to shout for over an hour about the change to Japan's constitution.

Of course, while some disapprove, others (cough USA cough) do not...

Mr Abe's plan has led to criticism from China, whose relations with the Japan have become strained over territorial disputes in East China Sea.


Correspondents say the move will likely please the US, with whom Japan has a long-standing security treaty.

*  *  *
Sadly, with the economic mirage of printing yourself to prosperity having failed, we wonder (and worry) that Abe is increasingkly cornered...

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Truther's picture

ABE the Fucking Ape. A Big O Sucker. Nothing more.

Thought Processor's picture




Always thought this was a strange form of protest but boy it sure gets one's attention.


How bad does shit have to be for you to want to lite yourself on fire?

max2205's picture

New source of heat during cold Jap winters

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Its a vary old form of protest. Mostly to show the resolve of a group. The individual thing i believe is recent.
To be effective you show up with 1k people and have 10 or 20 set set themselves on fire. As a message next time it will be the powers at be that would be doing the buring.
That would be a message that the powers that be could understand.

remain calm's picture

This is all meaningless bullshit until someone lights Abe's ass on fire.

palmereldritch's picture

Something like this just happened recently in DC and it was interpreted as an example of political protest but later forensic examination determined a crack-head had just stumbled into a vat of lard at a local McDonalds.

You are what you do.


daveO's picture

Buddhist monks used to do this with regularity in South Vietnam. It must have something to do with their religion. My philosophy dictates I take at least one of the bastards with me. It just seems to serve humanity better to lower the ratio of evil/good. Since the vast majority are good or neutral, even a 'one for one' kill ratio improves things.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Lucky for him that Japan is not Las Vegas...

Colonel Klink's picture

Yep, they have plenty of radioactive water to spray on him.

Dr. Everett V. Scott's picture


No.  Japan has deferred to the US since the end of WWII no matter who is president.  They see themselves as a vassal state.  It has been good for them economically.

But now a counterweight is needed for China. That's just the way it is.  War has not been abolished because human nature has not changed.  A militarized Japan is in the West's best interest.

TheReplacement's picture

There is no law against Japan having a military, even a very strong one.  Their constitution simply limits it's use to defense.  There is nothing wrong with that and it would be great if our Constitution had such a provision.

Grimnir's picture

I have no idea why people want to pick on Abe. He, just like everyone else in the LDP and more recently Japanese politics in general, is an absolute puppet of Washington. Notice how the couple times that a non-LDP party managed to get into power or got very close, that some mysterious scandals popped up destroying the political careers of those who dared challenge them?

Regardless, article 9 is an utter fraud. I don't see how anyone can not see the hypocrisy of lying prostrate to the greatest military power on the earth to let them use your country as a giant military base and yet still claim to be a "pacifist" country. Some US official referred to Japan as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" back in the 80's and the Japanese all got their panties in a bunch. I guess they didn't mind being the US's bitch, as long as they don't outright say it. They have to learn you can't have your cake and eat it too.

It will be funny to see how Japan reacts when the US finally pulls the pin on the whole Anpo deal due to a population sick of war and reckless spending. They really think the American people are going to accept a mutually destructive war with China for their sake? How a country that has not learned self-reliance since Commodore Perry's invasion in the mid 1800s expects to survive is beyond me.

Comebackkid's picture

Lived and worked in Japan at Japanese companies for quite some time now.

This. This x1000. Grimnir is correct in the above.

world_debt_slave's picture

yeah, same playbook, start a war

explosivo's picture

They are immolating the wrong people.

buzzsaw99's picture

i smell the stench of owebomba's influence on this move

discopimp's picture

Wow... words fail me... how much more before the kettle boils over?

THX 1178's picture

This just seems so wierd to me because Abe didnt actually commit an agressive or violent act. He just changed his stance. An that elicited a self-immolation.

Totentänzerlied's picture

My thoughts exactly. Through all of this Japan maintains one of the highest standards of living, GDP per capita, life expectancy, access to medical care, education, social/cultural cohesion etc. etc. etc. Even Canada is technically far more militaristic than Japan has been in 70 years.

booboo's picture

If anyone understands the outcome of military misadventures it would be Japan and those Japanese that do not want to practice insanity as a policy. One only needs to understand the total humiliation and utter defeat at the hands of a superpower when saving face was/is everything to a culture. This guy knows what lay ahead and chose to go out his way. Japan is doomed in a squeeze play between east and west.

Ignatius's picture

Some know the script and have seen further.

Or, he jumped the gun and disqualified.

Very sad, either way.

p00k1e's picture

You know those shifty Japanese.  Could be a diversion using an ASIMO.

r00t61's picture

Article 9 is a huge wedge issue in Japanese culture.  It causes a knee-jerk and polarized reaction similar to Guns/Gays/God in America, or Nazis in Germany, or the legal status of Taiwan in China.

Since Abe is a part of the new rising crop of Japanese neo-con politicians, his comments and actions during his term for a desire to become more militaristic are particularly alarming for the Japanese left (i.e., pacifists), and particularly heartening for the Japanese right (i.e., ultra-nationalists).

xiam007's picture

burn baby burn, let that mother frrr burn, we don't need no water....

ShrNfr's picture

Better than doing a slow burn over it, I guess.

suteibu's picture

Morning headlines on Japan Today (English):

Thousands protest greater Japanese military role
54% of Japanese voters oppose Abe's security shift
Japan pushing on with reform of constitution despite fiery suicide bid

GoldRulesPaperDrools's picture

Someone burned my rice!

Obama, me love you long time!

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Better to self immolate and get it over with now than wait for the long term effects of Fukushima to do it for you, I guess.  Ganbatte!

suteibu's picture

Japan Times:

Japan pushing on with military reform despite protester's self-immolation

Thousands get behind Article 9 in last-ditch rally at prime minister’s office

suteibu's picture

Not much from Asahi Shimbun except this gem:

Lawmakers’ incomes hit 5-year high, fueled by Abenomics boost to stock prices

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Why do the sane ones kill themselves and the insane ones kill us?

Azannoth's picture

I never understood why the "good" think it's noble to suicide in protest, instead of taking at least 1 bad guy out with them ?! Warped human psychology I guess.

kowalli's picture

US pushing Japan to the war with China... Puppet Abe do it...

NoWayJose's picture

Japanese soldiers worshipped the emperor and their religion in WWII and were a formidable enemy, defeated by US soldiers who loved their country, their flag, and God. Yet both countries have corrupted most of what drove their soldiers forward in WWII. I just do not see Japan having enough young men willing to attack or conquer other countries. We see today how well those with 'will power' (ISIS) do against those without.

daveO's picture

Add in one part military draft and 10 parts US Military Aid. Voila, the Chinese have their hands full. South Vietnam, Part 2, coming soon to a propaganda box near you. 

goldpercent's picture

If Japan doesn't need its Article 9 anymore, maybe the U.S. can have it.

daveO's picture

Exactly. They're setting up a US/Chinese war by proxy. 

Colonel Klink's picture

Quick, stop, drop him a few stories and roll.

New Constitution, sometimes self defense means striking first!

TheReplacement's picture

Yes if you were Poland in the late 1930s.

bunnyswanson's picture

The bastards and bitches talking to us from podiums in every country, living comfortably as one could hope in this world, would trade places with this man in a fair world where karma rules (Golden Rule).

AchtungAffen's picture

Miro! Nihonjin no Hedgetard ha jiniteki chikyuu ondanka wo hiteishite nagara moeteshimottanja! Odorokimon janaikana?

starman's picture

Reminds me of the Benihanas Chefs doing the volcano trick.

10mm's picture

Don't Taze Me Bro. Nothing worth doing that to ones self for these maggets.

TheReplacement's picture

He didn't do it for them.  He did it for their future victims.

mrblah's picture

The old myth that war/the ability to wage war is good for the economy.

Japan of all countries should know thats crap. After all, did it ever recover from world war 2? no. will it ever by waging wars/getting into even MORE debt? no.


screw face's picture

It's all about #FUKU....you know BOOM!


You think that is going to allowed to poison the Pacific forever...not!